With funeral costs inching higher each year, it’s no wonder that some of us struggle to pay for a service. When someone dies unexpectedly, the fees can come as a nasty shock. Luckily, there are several ways of paying for a funeral if you don’t have the money right now. Let’s take a look…


1. Paying for funeral expenses from the estate

When someone dies, money from their estate can be used to arrange their funeral if there’s enough in their accounts. This is often the best way to pay for a funeral.

In many cases, their bank will be happy to release funds for the funeral once you’re able to give them a certified copy of the death certificate and an invoice from the funeral director.

However, some banks will want to see a grant of representation before they’ll let you access an account. Getting a grant can take a few months, making paying for a funeral from an estate too lengthy a process for some. But there are other option, such as…

Even if you can’t access their accounts right away, you can claim any money you spent on the funeral back from the estate once you do have access. So keep your receipts!


2. Getting government or charitable help paying for funeral expenses

There are two main government grants that can help to pay funeral costs:

  • The funeral expenses payment, for people on qualifying benefits
  • The bereavement support payment, for bereaved spouses

Not everyone is eligible for them, however. You can find out more about both options, and how to find a charity that works with those who need help paying for a funeral, in our guide here.


3. Paying for funeral costs using a funeral plan

If the person who has died had a funeral plan, you can use this to cover most if not all the funeral costs.

So, what is a funeral plan? A funeral plan is an easy way to pay for a funeral in advance. You pay into the plan until you’ve covered the cost of your funeral. When you die, the funeral plan provider will give those funds, plus the interest, to a funeral director to make arrangements.

If your loved one has spoken to you about paying for funeral costs in advance with a funeral plan, then all you have to do is find the paperwork and get the contact details for the plan provider.



4. Crowdfunding the funeral costs

Friends and family members are often really happy to put in a little money to help give someone a proper send-off. This makes crowdfunding – collecting online donations – one of the best ways to pay for a funeral.

For crowdfunding to work well, you have to put a lot of effort in. Your crowdfunding page needs to look official, with a nice and clear introduction to what you’re trying to do and plenty of pictures of your loved one.

Once it’s ready, be sure to email it around and share your page on all the social media accounts you have access to. Encourage others to share it as well! Even if someone can’t help with paying for funeral services, they might know someone who can. You can make a free crowdfunding obituary on Beyond here.


5. Looking into a public health funeral

A public health funeral is a funeral that’s arranged and paid for by the local council. They’re not very common, because councils will usually only step in if someone has died without any living family or friends who would be able pay for the funeral.

If you need help paying for a funeral and none of the options above are right for you, this might be an option. You can find out more about public health funerals here.

Print this guide